By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 57)
Taped in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Streamed October 20, 2020 on the AEW YouTube Page
The broadcast team of Excalibur and Taz welcomed us to Dark…
1. Shawn Spears (w/Tully Blanchard) vs. Christopher Daniels. Spears put Daniels in an arm lock as the match started, with Daniels doing the same move. Headlocks from Spears, and Daniels were seen before Spears took Daniels down with a shoulder tackle. Daniels however planted Spears down with a high collar suplex. Spears went to the outside, as Daniels continued the action with a springboard over the top rope. While on the outside, Spears threw Daniels into the barricade, and hit a neckbreaker on the floor.
Back in the ring, Spears stomped on Daniels head. During that time, Spears took down his left knee pad and tried going for a knee drop, but Daniels countered Spears’ move by moving at the last second. Spears went for the C4, but Daniels dropped Spears on the mat, hit numerous forearms followed with the STO. Daniels attempted a moonsault, but Spears prevented that move by tripping Daniels on the apron. Daniels though hit a diving crossbody for a two count. Daniels got a close pin with a rollup, but Spears kicked out at two. Daniels tried leaping through the ropes, but Spears caught Daniels for the C4 in midair to win the match.
Shawn Spears defeated Christopher Daniels via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A good match to open up Dark, and continuation of the Spears/Scorpio Sky story.
2. KiLynn King vs. Brandi Rhodes. Brandi and King tied up when the bell rang. King put Brand into a hammerlock, but Brandi broke out of that move, as Brandi would plant a headlock. King went for a count early, but only got a two count. The two showed signs of respect by shaking hands, while Brandi took King down with an arm drag. Though, King followed with a shoulder tackle to plant Brandi down. Brandi however hit a back elbow, and a kick to the side of the head of King. Brandi hit a slingblade, but only got a two count in the process. Brandi then quickly ended the match with the shot of Brandi to King.
Brandi Rhodes defeated KiLynn King via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Typical Brandi match, short and sweet. Can we please get Brandi new music?
3. David Ali vs. Ricky Starks. The two threw shots with Starks lifting Ali in the air, and planting him down on the mat. Starks then hit rapid fire kicks to Ali. Starks threw Ali head first in the turnbuckle, and chops as well. Ali hit a missile dropkick after being dominated by Starks, catching Starks off guard. However, Starks hit a running boot to Ali. Shortly thereafter, Starks finished Ali off with the Roshambo.
Ricky Starks defeated David Ali via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Nothing much to see here, other than Starks’ AEW Dark domination.
4. Fuego Del Sol vs. Scorpio Sky. Del Sol, and Sky began the match with a collar elbow tie up. Del Sol would lock the arm of Sky up in an arm lock, but Sky countered with a shoulder tackle, tripping Del Sol on the ground. Del Sol would hit the head scissors to Sky, but Sky followed with a Russian leg sweep. The two continued to go back, and forth until Sky hit a backbreaker on Del Sol. Sky continued with a couple of uppercuts to Del Sol, and eventually put Del Sol into an abominable stretch. Del Sol would then fly through the ropes by leaping over the ropes.
Back in the ring, Del Sol hit a crossbody to Sky, and went for a roll up only to get a two count. Del Sol though hit a step up enziguri, but was caught in midair by Sky after attempting a missile dropkick. Sky made Del Sol tap out to the Scorpion Deathlock.
Scorpio Sky defeated Fuego Del Sol via submission.
Briar’s Take: A competitive enough match that I would go back, and see again. The two were great in this match, going back and forth. After the match, Spears’ music hit, but he never came out.
5. Aaron Solow vs. Luchasaurus (w/Jungle Boy). Solow tried taking Luchasaurus down with clotheslines, but Luchasaurus would prove too powerful for the takedown. Luchasaurus would then hit a vertical suplex onto Solow. Solow however got a dropkick that sent Luchasaurus to the outside. Solow tried with a jumping suicida, but Luchasaurus blocked the suicida. Solow followed with a swinging DDT to Luchasaurus on the floor. The two eventually got back in the ring, and Luchasaurus hit a rising knee strike.
Solow hit a double knee stomp, went for a pinfall attempt, but Luchasaurus kicked out at two. Solow would go for a move off the top rope, but Luchasaurus caught Solow, planted him down with a clothesline. Luchasaurus then followed with a roundhouse kick, a chokeslam, and standing moonsault press for the victory.
Luchasaurus defeated Aaron Solow via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: This matchup felt very random with really, no story to the match.
6. Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison vs. The Butcher and The Blade. The Blade, and Garrison began the match for their respective teams. The two threw shots at each other, with the Blade using his body to stop Garrison. Pillman was tagged in, so was The Butcher who tagged in. The Butcher hit a diving crossbody to Pillman before Butcher tagged in the Blade again. Butcher and Blade hit a double headbutt to Pillman Jr during the tag process.
The Butcher illegally hit Pillman Jr, when the ref was distracted by the Blade. Pillman Jr tried fighting back, but both Blade, Butcher continued to tag in, out of the match. Butcher hit a powerful suplex to Pillman Jr. More tags were made between Blade, Butcher. Pillman Jr tried crawling his way over to Garrison for the tag, but the Butcher stopped Pillman Jr in his tracks.
After being dominated by Butcher, Pillman Jr caught himself a break with a crossbody from the top rope. Garrison was finally tagged in, and came with tons of momentum. Garrison planted Blade down with a clothesline, and a flatliner as well. Garrison, Pillman Jr hit a double splash to both Butcher, Blade. Unfortunately, Pillman Jr’s, Garrison’s efforts came up short as Butcher and Blade hit the full death for the win.
The Butcher and The Blade defeated Griff Garrison and Brian Pillman Jr via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: There was no question that The Butcher, and The Blade would not lose. With that said, Pillman Jr’s run in AEW continues to be disappointing since he was highly regarded in MLW. Garrison is also great in his own right.
7. Penta El Zero M vs. QT Marshall. The action was fast when the bell rang. Penta threw a kick to the midsection to Marshall. Both went to the outside after Penta caught Marshall in the ropes. On the outside, Penta threw a chop to Marshall including a hamstring. Penta tried for the double foot stomp, but Marshall countered with a diving uppercut. Marshall however got hung up on the ropes later on, which allowed Penta to hit the diving stomp.
However, Marshall came back with a kick to the face of Penta. Penta, and Marshall continued with kicks back and forth. Penta hit the slingblade, and went for the count, only to get a two count. (During the match), Eddie Kingston came to the ringside entrance area to watch Penta’s match).
Penta attempted a package piledriver, but both Marshall, Penta hit the double clothesline laying each other out. As Marshall was on the outside, Kingston took the mic and said ‘I have a little surprise for you.’ Allie came out, and was on Kingston’s side. Allie provided enough distraction time for Penta to hit a diving crossbody. Marshall would follow with a sunset flip pinfall attempt, but Penta kicked out. Marshall hit his signature move, Penta kicked out again. Marshall went for the diamond cutter, but Penta hit the destroyer, package piledriver for the win.
Penta El Zero M defeated QT Marshall via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Poor Marshall, his “girl” stolen from Kingston, and Penta got momentum victory for the tournament on Wednesday night.
8. KTB vs. Jungle Boy (w/Luchasaurus). Jungle Boy hit a shotgun dropkick sending KTB into the corner. Jungle Boy then came off the top rope with a head scissors, and a high roundhouse kick. Jungle Boy tried going to the top rope again, KTB hit the ropes, knocking Jungle Boy off the ropes. KTB used his entire back, planting himself on Jungle Boy. Jungle Boy hit two round kicks, but KTB caught Jungle Boy for the dragon screw leg whip. KTB picked up Jungle Boy, and planted Boy down with the fireman’s curry.
KTB hit high knee strikes to Jungle Boy, and a Manhattan drop, body splash as well. Jungle Boy though hit a knee, elbow to KTB to gain momentum again. Boy followed through with a clothesline, and a dragon screw of his own. Boy hit a jumping suicida to the outside onto KTB, then hit a over the top DDT onto KTB. Boy went for the count, but KTB kicked out at two. KTB lifted Jungle Boy, hit the knee, and almost scored the upset. KTB missed the moonsault pressed, as Jungle Boy hit the elbow to the back of the head, and diving knee strikes to win the match.
Jungle Boy defeated KTB via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: It sure would have been something if Jungle Boy lost this match to KTB ahead of his tournament matchup, but nonetheless, he picked up the pinfall victory to give him momentum.
9. Kenzie Paige and Skyler Moore vs. Ivelisse and Diamante. When the match began, Ivelisse and Diamante attacked Paige and Moore from behind. The two stayed in the ring, until Paul Turner (referee) got the legal members in the ring. Diamante lifted Moore up for a slam, and got a two count. Diamante hit an uppercut, and tagged Ivelisse in the match. Both Diamante, and Ivelisse hit a double vertical suplex following the tag.
Ivelisse put Moore into a submission move, but tagged Diamante in again. Moore climbed to the top rope, and hit a crossbody onto Diamante, a clothesline to get Diamante down. Moore, and Diamante tagged in Ivelisse, Paige into the match. Paige came in with tons of fire, and hit the enzurigi to Ivelisse. However, Diamante, and Ivelisse both hit the assisted backdrop driver. In addition, Diamante hit a facebuster onto Paige, while Ivelisse followed with a kick to the face for the short victory.
Diamante and Ivelisse defeated Kenzie Pagie and Skyler Moore via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Pretty quick match for anything to get going. Kind of felt rushed in some parts.
10. BSHP King vs. Colt Cabana. Cabana rolled up King for an early two count, but King quickly kicked out. During the match, John Silver and Alex Reynolds came to the ring apron. King went for the waist lock, but Cabana dodged the move. King though followed with an arm drag takedown, sending Cabana to the outside for a breather. After being at ringside for a short while, Silver and Reynolds made their way back to the locker room.
Cabana put King into a unique submission move, but Cabana broke the hold himself. Cabana hit an elbow to King, but another Silver, Reynolds distraction allowed King to attempt a senton. However, Cabana countered with the knees, and a splash into the corner. Cabana won the match using superman city.
Colt Cabana defeated BSHP King via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Like in most matches, this match gave Cabana momentum into his tournament match on Wednesday night against Hangman Adam Page.
11. Adam Priest vs. Alan Angels. Angels came flying with a dropkick to Priest, and a takedown from a clothesline. Angels then used the ropes for another clothesline. Angels would continue to dominate the match with the stomp to the spine of Angels, and hitting the moonsault press to Priest. Priest hit a boot to the Angel including a backbreaker to Angles. Angels though threw a kick to Priest, and hit the twisting fisherman buster. Angels quickly hit the wing snapper for the victory.
Alan Angels defeated Adam Priest via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Priest’s victory was short lived.
12. Jack Evans (w/Angelico) vs. Frankie Kazarian. Before the match, Kazarian would cut a promo on Jack Evans about wrestlers being overlooked. Kazarian and Evans used technical moves to start the match, such as a flat back and headlock. Kazarian planted Evans down with a shoulder tackle, and a hip toss to Evans as well. Kazarian put Evans into an arm lock submission, but Evans countered with a roundhouse kick after a distraction from Angelico. Evans used kicks to his advantage, and a high flying kick in the process. Evans then hit a northern lights suplex, and went for a pinfall but Kazarian kicked out.
Evans went for another cover, but Kazarian kicked out again. Evans would hammer throw Kazarian into the corner. Kazarian however rolled Evans for a two count, and tried again with a crucifix. Kazarian then hit a back elbow, flying forearm. Angelico tried interfering in the match again, but Kazarian sent him outside by hitting a modified Fameasser. Kazarian hit a powerful clothesline that sent Evans flying. Kazarian went for a two count once more, but Evans kicked out. Kazarian used the middle rope for a leg drop, only to get a two count again. Evans swept Kazarian’s leg, and hit a standing moonsault onto Kazarian. Evans hit the moonsault from the top rope, but Kazarian spiked Evans down on the mat to score the pinfall.
Frankie Kazarian defeated Jack Evans via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A great match from these two, who know what they are doing. I would have probably put this match at the beginning of the show, or closing the show since the match was so competitive.
13. Louie Valle, Baron Black, D3 vs. Alex Reynolds, John Silver, Preston Vance. Reynolds tried recruiting Valle when the match started, but Valle turned down the offer. Reynolds then threw Valle on the mat, but Valle hit a shotgun dropkick from the ropes, tagged in Black. Silver is tagged in, but Black hit a Manhattan drop of his own. Afterward, Silver hit the uppercut. Meanwhile, D3 is tagged in, and rolled Silver up for a one count. Silver threw D3 onto the ground, and tagged Vance into the match.
D3 went for the huracanrana, but Vance countered with a powerbomb. Reynolds, and Vance tagged each other in, while Vance hit the delayed vertical suplex to D3. Silver is back in the match again, and threw D3 in the corner. However, D3 tagged Valle in the match after the tag from D3. Valle hit a flying elbow to Silver. Valle tried a moonsault from the ropes, but Vance caught him in midair. Silver, and Reynolds doubled teamed Valle with a german release suplex. Black tried coming into the match to save his team, but Vance hit the spinebuster. Valle was caught by Vance, Reynolds to allow as a team hit the pecka dipper to win the match.
Alex Reynolds, John Silver, Preston Vance defeated Louie Valle, Baron Black, D3 via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: I found it amusing that Reynolds tried recruiting Valle before the match started, attempting to get Valle to turn on his own team. However, he turned down offer.
14. Vinny Pacifico vs. Wardlow. Wardlow hit the gutwrench powerbomb quickly as the bell rang. He lifted Pacifico and hit the knee strike for the victory by knockout.
Wardlow defeated Vinny Pacifico via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Poor Pacifico, he never really had a chance against Wardlow to begin with.
Eddie Kingston along with The Butcher, The Blade, Penta, and Allie cut a promo on the roster.
15. Shawn Dean vs. Matt Sydal. Sydal, and Dean used the collar elbow tie up once the bell rang. Sydal then took Dean with a headlock. Sydal attempted more submissions, but Dean hit the arm drag to maneuver out of Sydal’s submission attempt. Dean would follow with a dropkick. Sydal though planted Dean with a leg lariat. Sydal planted himself onto Dean’s left knee. Sydal followed through with a standing twist moonsault.
Sydal hit the sunset flip, but Dean hit a dropkick to Sydal in the corner. Dean then followed with a tiger powerbomb, only to get a one count. Afterward, Sydal hit the rising knee strike, and a roundhouse kick. Sydal made Dean tap out to the cobra clutch.
Matt Sydal defeated Shawn Dean via submission.
Briar’s Take: Great match from Sydal here. He never really used his “third eye” thing as he normally does.
16. Sonny Kiss (w/Joey Janela) vs. Rey Fenix. Kiss took down Fenix with the head-scissors, and a step up huracanrana in the process. Kiss tried the back spring elbow, but Fenix hit a dropkick to counter Kiss’ move. Fenix used an illegal submission by using the ropes. After the illegal hold, Fenix rolled Kiss over into a modified figure four submission. Kiss though threw strikes to Fenix, but Fenix put Kiss into a stretch submission hold. Fenix threw a sidekick to Kiss only to get a two count.
Kiss hit a tornado elbow strike on Fenix, and hit the X’s, O’s. Kiss followed with the splits to Fenix, but Fenix kicked out at two. Fenix put Kiss into a single leg crab, only for Kiss to hit a punt kick. Kiss went to the ropes for the splits again, but Fenix hit a kick, finished Kiss off with the muscle buster.
Rey Fenix defeated Sonny Kiss via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A good match from Fenix, and Kiss with Fenix getting the victory ahead of his match with Pentagon Jr. Should be a hell of a match between the two. Lot’s of hype for that match.
Overall, this episode was highly centered toward the AEW World Title Eliminator tournament that begins on Wednesday night. While I do like that AEW used Dark to help give the wrestlers competing in the tournament momentum and additional experience ahead of their matches, the episode kind of felt thrown together at the last minute. What I mean by that is the tournament was announced a week ago, and it felt like using this episode of Dark was a last minute effort to help give the competitors competing in the tournament momentum for their respective matches. Don’t get me wrong, I liked most of the matches on this show, but had the tournament been announced sooner, Dark would have been helpful in building toward the tournament over a few weeks time.
As for the episode itself, the show felt like a regular Dark and was a chore to watch at some points with 16 matches. If I was not a regular viewer of Dark, and I saw this show had 16 matches with a two hour show length, I might’ve passed on the episode. That’s only because there is only so much wrestling a person can take in a week. All in all, if you want to watch this episode for the tournament itself, then be my guest. If you don’t, I strongly encourage you to watch Frankie Kazarian vs. Jack Evans. They had a hell of a match, and the match was highly competitive. Final Score: 7.5 out of 10.